Jeff Lemire and Caitlin Yarsky explore the hero’s legacy
Back in 2016, Black hammer debuted with writer Jeff Lemire, artist Dean Ormston and colorist Dave Stewart. For years the story of Dark Horse Comics has grown from a core group of heroes to a colorful universe that pays homage to classic comics while having its own voice and style.
Now, the story of Black Hammer – Joseph Weber – continues with his daughter, Lucy Weber; however, instead of exploring his early days as a hero, Black Hammer: Reborn is about a middle-aged Lucy who has to do with her husband, her kids, and why she gave up the hammer years ago. Lemire is still on board as a writer, and Black hammer welcomes Caitlin Yarsky as new artist, and the two creators spoke to CBR in an exclusive interview about Lucy’s story and the world of Black hammer.
CBR: The superhero genre has been a staple in comics for decades. What makes this race Black hammer stand out among all the other superhero media out there right now?
Jeff Lemire: I think that Black hammer has always celebrated Super hero COMICS. Emphasis on comics and not all other media Super hero now dominate. Like many readers my age, I grew up in a world where comics and superheroes were truly an alien thing. It wasn’t flooding TV and movies, or part of the mainstream like it is now, and that’s really where my love of the genre comes from, all those amazing comics I’ve read. growing up, Black hammer was born out of this and continues to do so.
And, besides, I think about what makes Black hammer unique was the emphasis on human character and drama over the genre’s most spectacular aspects. And Black Hammer: Reborn Certainly keeps him going with her take on Lucy Weber’s domestic life and her struggle to find a way to combine her superhero life with her family life.
As a legacy story, what did you want to keep from the original Black hammer?
JL: I struggled for quite a while with this series. It has been in development for almost two years. When I’m done Black Hammer: Age of Doom, I knew the next series would focus on Lucy Weber as the new Black Hammer and portray her living up to her father’s name and legacy as the greatest superhero in our universe. I wrote several drafts and issues along those lines, and it felt a bit too much like a generic superhero story. What did Black hammer The peculiarity was that it juxtaposed elements of superheroes and tropes with more down-to-earth stories focused on the characters of our ex-heroes on the farm. These new scripts lacked this element which made it look like Black hammer.
After some trial and error and a lot of thinking, I got the idea to step forward twenty-five and see Lucy in middle age with a family, with her superhero life in the past. And then we could go back, like we did in the original Black hammer, to see how she went from being the world’s greatest hero to retirement and domestic life in Spiral City. I could juxtapose Lucy’s family life with her superhero past. Everything clicked from there. We had a Lucy which was much more complicated and filled with flaws and much more interesting to write. And it was much more like what I did in the original Black hammer without just repeating the same stories.
Besides being about a superhero, this comic seems to deal with a lot of everyday life issues. What relatable issues did you want to explore through Lucy?
JL: This is really the story of this girl living in [her father’s] shadow. Black hammer has always been more about real-world dilemmas than superhero dilemmas, so being able to tell a more contemporary story of a mother and wife and someone struggling to regain their place in the world m ‘really attracted. Lucy had everything, then she lost it. Now she has a family she loves, and that’s great too, but something’s missing, and that’s where our story begins.
As a legacy comic, which makes this comic accessible to new readers who are not familiar with Black Hammer?
JL: I always try to write each new series so that it can exist on its own as a satisfying story. And then of course, if readers like it, they can explore other books in the universe as well. And if you have been for a long time Black hammer reader, the book is filled with connections to all the other stories we’ve done. It’s a bit of a juggling act, but starting over with a new series and a new perspective in the universe, as we’re here with Lucy Weber, really helps.
Number 1 has shown some major threats already, so with Black Hole and the mysterious villain nearing the end of the problem, what are some of the obstacles and antagonists you have in store for Lucy?
JL: There will be a real mix of old and new here. Lucy will encounter new threats, but her biggest obstacles are actually her own inner conflicts and the secrets and sins of her past that now come back to haunt her. And the character of Skulldigger plays a major role as well, and he and Lucy don’t see each other exactly agreeing. There is also a fairly significant cosmic threat looming.
What was it like working together Black hammer?
JL: It was really fun working with Caitlin. She brought a whole new energy and life to the world and the characters. She has an incredible talent for creating very realistic characters through her facial expressions and the “acting” of the characters, and I love to see her interpret the existing one. BH characters, as well as inventing new ones with me.
Caitlin Yarsky: It was a blast! Jeff and the team are very communicative and easy to work with, and it’s always fun to send in work in progress and get enthusiastic responses. It makes me feel like I’m hitting the right notes, which is really important to me – the original series is so fantastic. I want to do him justice if I can.
What does it take to be a Black Hammer?
JL: I don’t think there is a formula. The different books we have produced all have their own story and their own point of view. But if I had to try to sum up what makes a book a “Black Hammer” book, I would say a real emphasis on emotion and character with the superhero aspects acting as great, fun metaphors for those emotional arcs. .
I’ve put in so much and spent so many years building it, so the last thing I want to do is turn it into another generic mainstream superhero title. It makes me try to do something different with it if I keep saying Black hammer stories. I love this challenge, continue to bring my own personal perspective to these stories.
What has been the funniest thing to explore in the world of Black hammer?
JL: The universe really started out as a book and a story, and I had no idea at the time that it would grow up the way it did, so for me the real pleasure is using that original story. to open all these other doors and bring the universe back. in all these new places and new characters. And the challenge is to make sure they all meet the standard I set at the start, but growing my own universe from scratch has been a blast.
CY: My favorite part of drawing Black hammer explores the emotional journeys of the characters. I love to immerse myself in the relationships between people and how they interact, their facial expressions, their body language, etc. Because for me supernatural settings don’t work without the characters you care about, and Jeff does it SO well. Lucy Weber’s story is full of personal struggles which are truly relatable and a lot of fun to draw.
What do you hope readers take away from this race?
JL: With all Black hammer books, I hope readers will share the love and celebration of the genre. I also hope they can see some of themselves in the characters and relate on a deeper human level to what Lucy and the rest of our cast are going through. But more than anything with this series, I want to bring everything we’ve done in the Black hammer universe so far together in a huge, mysterious and surprising new story.
Written by Jeff Lemire, art by Caitlin Yarsky and colors by Dave Stewart, Black Hammer Issue # 1 hits comic book stores on June 23, 2021.
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